NICAR 2013 Data Visualization on a Shoestring: Resources

by Sharon Machlis, Online Managing Editor, Computerworld
Twitter: @sharon000

Chart of 30+ free data visualization and analysis tools:
Accompanying original Computerworld story:

OpenRefine (transitioning from Google Refine): Helps clean data

Storytelling with data: Ideas for improving Excel defaults, including downloadable templates.

IBM's Many Eyes: Dataviz pioneer that makes it easy to upload data and create various types of visualizations.

Tableau Public: Free Windows-only software for create robust online visualizations. Data must be uploaded to their site and made available for download.
Tips for formatting Excel data for use in Tableau, plus a link to an Excel plug-in
Links to Tableau Public training materials from IRE 2012 training sessions Easy-to-use Web-based dataviz startup.
Brief Computerworld review

Datawrapper: Another easy-to-use Web-based dataviz service, this one created by a German journalism-training organization.
Brief Computerworld review

Highcharts: JavaScript charting library with professional-looking defaults that are not difficult to tweak for your own use. $80 one-time site-wide license.
  Basic line:
  Zoomable time:

Other JavaScript libraries:
Data Driven Documents (D3)
Michael Bostock's D3 tutorials page
Scott Murray's online D3 tutorial, basis for his more in-depth Interactive Data Visualization for the Web book
Example: N.Y. Times interactive on President Obama's 2013 budget
InfoVis toolkit
Protovis Update: Audience member noted that Protovis is no longer being updated; people are advised to use D3 instead.
Exhibit (MIT SIMILE spinoff)

Cascading Tree Sheets -- a CSS-like library for HTML structured data.

Google Chart Tools (Visualization API)
Michelle Minkoff's step-by-step tutorial on the Google Visualization API for Poynter

Google Spreadsheets and JavaScript libraries to make it easy to use spreadsheets' data:
Tabletop open-source project by Balance Media and WNYC for pulling in Google Spreadsheet data
Example: WNYC Mayoral Tracker
Andy Boyle video presentation on Javascript, Google Docs and Tabletop.js presented at the Society of Professional Journalists in Chicago
Dataset, offering a robust way to pull in and transform data from multiple sources, including Google Spreadsheets. Well documented with multiple examples.
Bonus link: How to create an auto-updating Google Spreadsheet

Google Fusion Tables
Example: Connecticut superintendent salary by Digital First Media's Thunderdome team, plus a writeup on how they did it
Rebecca Shapley's Get More Out of Fusion Tables resource sheet
My How to Make a Map in Google Fusion Tables and Chrys Wu's How to make a heat map in Fusion Tables (note that the Fusion Tables UI changed since these were published, but the basic ideas are the same)

ESRI Mapping for Everyone

QGIS: open-source alternative to ArcGIS
Timothy Barmann's great QGIS tutorials:
Dynamic maps

R Project for Statistical Computing
Hadley Wickham's NICAR '13 slides and code
R for Statistics: First Steps by Peter Aldhous
Hands-on R, a step-by-step tutorial by Jacob Fenton
Visualize This: The FlowingData Guide to Design, Visualization, and Statistics by Nathan Yau (more info, not the actual book)
Chart Chooser in R (with downloadable code)
"Twotorial" two-minute videos on "how to do stuff in R."

Statwing: One-click statistical analysis
Brief Computerworld review

Suggestions from the audience:
Adobe Edge